Trenton, there is no inflection point in the price vs. protection of riding gear. Pay little, get stuff that might not protect in a crash and also not so comfortable. Pay more, get better protection and comfort.
You want two kinds of protection--crash protection and weather protection.
Crash protection--dress for the slide, not for the ride. You want fabric with high abrasion resistance or top quality leather. Cordura nylon or kevlar are very good, and there are some other top line fabrics out. Never get polyester--it melts when you slide on the pavement. You want CE-rated armor in the shoulders and elbows as well as a CE rated spine protector. You might have to pay to upgrade the spine protector. CE Level 1 is good and Level 2 is better for the spine. For the pants you want knee & hip armor. Both garments can come with ventilation zippers. You can get pretty good water resistant coatings on the fabrics. You want riding gloves with knuckle armor and reinforced palms for that slide. You want riding boots for both water resistance and some impact & slide protection. Be sure the boot can not slide off your foot with all the fasteners done up.
Weather protection--Good zippers, water resistant fabric, vent zippers, wind tight neck & wrist seals. Put an electric vest on your Christmas list. Get warm insulated, water resistant, armored winter riding gloves. Wear a balaclava under your helmet in cold weather--if the brain is warm it won't take warm blood from the fingers and toes. Get a coat & pants sized to allow warm layers underneath. Gray pants aren't as hot in the summer sun.
Your helmet--It needs good summer ventilation. It needs a good non-fog face shield for cold weather. One of the dual-pane types like Pinlock work well. Your helmet MUST fit right, both the size and the shape
Motorcycle Helmet Shapes - webBikeWorld
SHARP Helmets - Fitting Guide
WHAT COLOR? I prefer conspicuity. I really want drivers to notice me. I have a safety-yellow coat and a white helmet. (I think the white helmet is easier to spot that a safety-yellow helmet.) I don't want a hard-to-notice gray or black coat & helmet. Your choice.
You really need to buy your helmet locally from a store with a very large stock. You need to try on several to find the size and internal shape that are just right for you. Trying something on in a local store then undercutting them and buying mail order is poor practice. I buy other gear by mail order. The vendors that help pay the bills for this forum are good sources. I like Revzilla. Their advice by phone or email has worked well for me including when I put a limit on the price I'll pay, and their selection is very good. Other vendors are good as well.